The victim, Betha Ogbede, was reportedly killed and buried by the accused on Sunday, but the murder was exposed yesterday.
It was learnt that Owabie was arrested at his home at Rumuepirikom in Obio/Akpor Local Government, where he allegedly committed the crime.
Residents alleged that Owabie always beat up the deceased, who lived with him.
A neighbour, who preferred anonymity, said the suspect was fond of beating up the deceased, adding that he challenged anyone who intervened.
The deceased’s cousin said she (the victim) went to pick her belongings from Owabie’s home on Sunday and an argument ensued between them, resulting in a fight, which led to her death.
“It was as if she knew J-boy would kill her, because she told her sister she was going to the suspect’s home. During the fight, she called her sister, telling her in tears that her boyfriend wanted to kill her,” he said.
Addressing reporters, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Rumuepirikom Police Station, Emmanuel Wagbara, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), said Owabie was arrested following a tip-off.
He said a case of missing person was filed by a relative of the victim, who told the police that her sister (the deceased), had been missing for a while, and that she was last seen on December 3, when she said she was visiting the suspect, who was allegedly her boyfriend.
Wagbara said when the suspect was interrogated on the deceased’s whereabouts, he admitted that she was in his house, but later left for her house and that he had not heard from her since she left.
“We were not satisfied with his explanation, so early this morning (yesterday), we searched his house and discovered a shallow grave in his room. He then confessed that he buried the girl in the grave,” he said.
Wagbara said the suspect had been arrested and was assisting the police in their investigation.